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Branding Electrical Contractors: Short-Circuit or Full Power?

Branding your company—from vehicles to interior designs—is well-served by a quote from baseball great Yogi Berra: “If you don't know where you are going, you'll end up someplace else.”


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New CABA Study Examines the State of the IoT

The Internet of Things (IoT) is a concept that gets thrown around a lot, and while many understand its general meaning, a deep examination of its various aspects and abilities may leave some heads spinning.


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Students Impress Contractor Judges at ASC Electrical Competition

Each year, the Associated Schools of Construction (ASC) holds a number of national competitions that allow college students from around the nation in construction and construction-related trades to experience what it is like to work in the industry.


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Getting the Hang of It

Last month, we published our annual construction forecast. We’ve been doing this gig for quite a while, and, if there’s a running theme connecting every forecast, it’s uncertainty. It’s not exactly the weather, and we give those guys and gals grief for their unreliability, too.


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Solar Jobs Census Records Dramatic Growth in 2016

On Feb. 7, The Solar Foundation released the National Solar Jobs Census 2016, an annual report on solar employment in the United States. Despite the energy source’s relatively small role on the national landscape, the solar workforce saw considerable, dramatic growth last year.


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Phasing in Intelligence

As building intelligence becomes a mainstream demand in small to mid-sized buildings and companies, contractors must find ways to offer solutions without crippling startup investments.


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Supply in Search of Demand

Microgrids are the hot new idea that’s been around forever. Thomas Edison’s first New York City power plants could be considered microgrids because those generating stations each acted independently from the others, serving their own “islands” of connected loads.


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Potential For Color Tuning In Senior Care Facilities

Color tuning is often used for purely aesthetic purposes—creating lighting “scenes” or particular atmospheres. However, research suggests it could find a new home in healthcare facilities.


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Women Electricians Focus On Volunteer Labor


The Sisters in Solidarity (SIS) group of IBEW Local No. 292, Minneapolis, was formed in 2013. SIS is a mentoring and support group for women electricians that focuses on developing leadership in its community and union.


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Costa Rica Completes 
Year Of Renewable Energy


Powering entire countries (especially smaller ones) without fossil fuels is possible. In 2016, Costa Rica’s electrical grid mainly used renewable energy, the Costa Rican Electricity Institute (ICE) stated in a Jan. 3 press release. The country went 271 days using only renewable-energy production.


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Milwaukee 18V lithium-ion deep-cut band saw
Cool Tools: Saws 2017

Saws often are needed for electrical work, and the cordless saw models available today are more powerful, smaller, lighter and easier to use compared with older models.



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Greenlee offers a variety of fishing reach poles and telescoping fish poles.
Cool Tools: Fish Sticks And Fishing Tools

The routing of wiring for voice/data/video, security, alarm and control systems is done differently from electrical cable and, in most cases, is completed with different tools.



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Conductors, Unfinished Basements And More

Jim Dollard has an extensive background in codes and standards. If you have a query about the National Electrical Code (NEC), Jim will help you solve it. Questions can be sent to codefaqs@gmail.com. Answers are based on the 2017 NEC.
 White conductors 
in cable assemblies



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Passing Gas: Air Circulation for Hazardous Locations


For many years, the mystery of area classification has resided with a select group of experts within the electrical, petrochemical and industrial sectors. Many electricians, electrical engineers, fire inspectors and electrical inspectors have remained outside of this group.


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Have Reports of Coal’s Return Been Greatly Exaggerated?


During his presidential campaign, Donald Trump said he would bring coal back to prominence in the United States’ energy mix, a pledge many coal-state residents took with them to the voting booth.


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Chemicals, Fuels And Hazardous Locations

Before we proceed, in part 3 of this series, the change in Section 230.70(A)(4) dealing with service disconnects on one- and two-family dwellings was reversed during the late stages of the development process and never made it into the 2017 National Electrical Code (NEC).


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Certifiably Skilled: A Guide to Lighting Certifications


As demand for LED lighting and controls increases, the lighting world is becoming more complex, which raises demand for expertise to produce good lighting solutions. Unlike other professions, lighting designers do not require state licensure.


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Cabling Mysteries And Myths

Contractors often experience some confusion over the types of circuits required and permitted for fire alarm system installations. First, contractors need to recognize that they must install all circuits as required by chapters 12 and 23 of NFPA 72 2016, National Fire Alarm and Signaling Code.



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The 24/7 Power Era: Making Secondary Power Primary


Everything came to a sudden halt for JetBlue on Jan. 14, 2016. Its website crashed. Passengers became irate. Long lines formed. Some 200 flights were delayed. This nightmare began when JetBlue’s data center lost power and did not have a responsive backup network.


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Do Women Make Better Service Managers?

Rachel Hienz would have never expected the situation that was about to unfold as she entered a bank branch one morning. She was there for a pre-job walk-through with other representatives of companies that would soon begin renovations on the building.



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